How to Repair Brown Patch Fungus and Spots on your Lawn

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At certain times of the year, usually as summer is ending, you are going to notice brown patches on your lawn. These are typically the results of some type of fungus that is causing your grass to change colors. In most cases, this will be very detrimental, and will likely spread at a very fast rate. If this goes on for too long, and your grass ends up dying, you will end up with dead patches that will have to be repaired. Here is a brief overview of how you can repair brown patches, and even spots on your lawn, before the disease kills off your grass.

What Is Brown Patch Disease?

This is a type of fungus that can infiltrate your lawn. It is a very common occurrence in certain areas of the country. As with all types of fungus, they need to have a very specific environment by which to begin to grow and spread at a rapid pace. When you combat any type of fungus, you will use fungicides, and there are many other solutions when it comes to getting rid of this fungus from your lawn. There are many reasons that this can show up, some of which can be easily prevented by simply changing your lawn care habits.

What Causes Brown Patches On Your Lawn?

There is a particular disease which is called Brown patch fungal disease. Most people have seen this at least once in their lives. It is caused by a type of fungus called Rhizoctonia. If left unchecked, you will end up with a substantial amount of dead grass on your lawn. In almost every case, the primary culprit is this particular fungus and will happen toward the end of summer. It relies upon not only hot weather, but also a substantial amount of humidity, making this much more prominent in coastal regions and in areas that are closer to the equator.

What Type Of Grass Does It Typically Affect?

The grass that it will usually affect is cool season lawn grass. However, fescue and ryegrass are also susceptible. Kentucky bluegrass will also be on that list, however, the amount of damage that it can cause will be minimal by comparison. Warm season grasses can also be affected if there is a substantial amount of humidity. St. Augustine grass is one of them. Brown patch is simply a foliar, one that will only affect the blades of the grass. The fungus cannot affect the root system or the crown of the grass itself.

Symptoms Associated With Brown Patch

Unlike fungal conditions such as grass with pink snow mold, these circles made by Brown patch are not perfectly circular. Irregular circles of Brown will begin to appear in random areas of your grass. It may also have a yellow hue in some cases. Some people refer to the pattern that they see as a smoke ring, or perhaps even looking like the eye of a frog. Rings are usually no larger than half an inch. If you want to see all of them, it is best to search for them in the morning. In some cases, the grass inside of the ring will be completely killed off. In others, it will have a sunken appearance. If it is only a light fungal infection, the grass will merely be much thinner by comparison to the surrounding grass on your lawn.

Why Does Brown Patch Occur?

Rhizoctonia fungus must be in the soil before it can appear. It will likely last through winter, and when spring arrives, it will start to multiply until the warmer humid weather allows it to grow quickly. As long as the temperatures are above 68°, this is the temperature range where it will be most prolific. If you have inconsistent amounts of rain coming in from time to time, this is just enough to keep the fungus growing. There is one other possibility as to why it is growing. You may have too much nitrogen in the ground. Combined with poor soil drainage, and the lack of air movement in the soil, this contributes to what could be the initial appearance of this fungus.

How To Prevent And Treat Brown Patch Disease

As mentioned before, too much nitrogen in the ground can lead to this problem. This is usually the result of over-fertilization of your lawn. Additionally, you may be watering your lawn too much, and if there is not enough irrigation in the ground, the standing water provides the perfect breeding ground for this fungus. To remedy this, you need to improve the air circulation in the ground using an aeration tool that can poke holes into the soil. It’s also helpful to reseed the soil at the beginning of summer. Finally, by adding the proper fungicide to your lawn, such as strobilurins, you will be able to see these brown patches begin to fade.

How To Ensure This Does Not Come Back

If you want to make sure that Brown patch never comes back, there are three things that you need to do. First of all, do not over fertilize your soil. By doing so, especially if there is an abundance of nitrogen in the fertilizer, you are laying the foundation for a recurrence the following year. Second, you need to aerate your soil, preferably during the winter. By doing so, as the winter weather fades, and warmer weather arrives, the aeration will make it virtually impossible for the fungus to proliferate. Finally, monitor your watering schedule so as to not over water, particularly if you live in a climate that is typically humid.

Now that you know how to repair your lawn if it has Brown patch fungus, simply follow the steps provided by Discover Ziehler to eliminate it, and prevented from coming back. It is one of the most common types of fungus that will affect a wide variety of lawn grasses. By making sure that you aerate your lawn, and by not over fertilizing, you will have the best possible chance of avoiding this fungal breakout when spring arrives.

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